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Old 12-24-2014, 10:01 AM   #15
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Old 12-24-2014, 10:55 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gocoffeer View Post
RockyMtn...There have been several really good points offered.

1. The inverter uses power too
2. Several inverters can be better than one if you have a good handle on your power using needs
3. A good infrastructure (wired network) is very important
4. In a world of normal....trying to be normal and using solar and batteries to make normal happen might be impossible. You will always be required to change your energy use habits if expecting solar to sustain you in your RV.

All that being summarized....I too took the VSHEETS design and made 5 ea 100w solar panels work for me. I have 4 ea batteries....and I observe the golden rule....Try never to discharge less than 70%....and NEVER less than 50%. By careful manipulation of my power use habits and vigilance observing the lights on the battery monitor (I have that MidNite Battery Capacity Meter) you can form good habits.
I have a 3000W chinese made PSW inverter and 2 ea 150w inverters for the electronics in the RV. The big guy will (as mentioned) abuse the amount of battery stored power quickly. My panels can not keep up with the draw that the big inverter can apply even if it is not being used it is drawing on the batteries to maintain itself. So I have installed the REMOTE ON/Off switch that was made for it. The switch allows me to use the big inverter for vacuuming, minor coffee making, day time crock pot use, microwave use (minimal) and other small tasks. You find that the batteries power will drain off quicker than you think when you are not planning ahead. So you train yourself to be cautious and as you build better use habits....small power generation and inverters just work well.
agree
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Old 12-24-2014, 10:56 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by okcnewbie View Post
Me thinks it was a valiant effort to try and be able to run the rooftop AC on solar and battery power. Anyone on a budget (like most of us are) of any kind is not likely to be able to do so.
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Old 12-24-2014, 10:58 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by pasdad1 View Post
I've looked at grid tie inverters, and my understanding is that they will only operate while synchronized to the "grid" AC wiring. Their purpose is to feed solar or wind power directly into the AC power grid, reducing your homes consumption of power through the meter, or to run the meter backwards (special "net metering" meter needed here) if your solar produces more power than the house needs at that moment. When the "normal" AC power shuts down, the inverter does too - protects utility line workers from coming in contact with "energized" wires being fed from your solar setup.
agree - this is how, for safety, my grid tie inverter on the sticks and bricks work.

there are grid tie inverters that will also work in conjunction with a charger / battery bank and provide for backup should the grid go down. They are spendy needing the justification for deployment.
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:11 AM   #19
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Inverter

thanks everyone for the excellent advice and usage examples, they are most helpful. Especially the power usage of the inverters, something I wasn't aware of, I assumed the inverter would only use power if I had something plugged into it. As far as the price, well I too bought the Chinese model and I'm sure the 5000 and 3000 watt models are of the same type although I got nuked on the PSW and received a MSW model, they are listed at $899.00 - $1199.00, but I got lucky one night and caught an auction nobody had bid on just before it ended and got it for $350.00. But, the seller had run out of stock and to avoid any problems with Ebay, they made me an offer I couldn't refuse, if I would wait for new stock, they would sell it to me for $250 and free shipping, lol. With this in mind I figured if all else fails, I may still be able to resell it for a great price and possibly make a small profit. I had been bidding on the 3000 and 5000 watt pure sine wave models and just happened across the 8000 and jumped on it. I did not pay attention to the dimensions and was surprised at its size. I run a 350 watt in my custom van but it won't power a desktop computer and monitor, and with 3 of us using a computer of one type or another, plus tv, dish and occasional microwave i was thinking bigger is better. I planned on being in the Grand Canyon for Christmas, but the first few test drives have given me more to think about before I start my journey. I was going to tow my van behind the rv on a tow dolly but when I reached 25mph the van was swaying so bad i had to stop. After rearranging weight and removing the extender from my hitch, i was able to get up to 35mph before it started swaying, but I still couldn't leave with that, so I'm back and trying to figure out what else may contribute to the swaying. With a major winter storm hitting on Christmas day, it appears I will not be making my journey anytime soon. Now, after reading all your information, I think I have a lot more work to do if I want to make this right. Can the inverter be wired into the circuit breaker box in the chassis? Or what kind of fuses do I need to wire in to the system? The inverter has a couple built in fuses, is that all I need? If I only turn the inverter on when I need power, does it still use battery power for itself?
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Old 12-25-2014, 12:36 AM   #20
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Old 12-25-2014, 01:30 AM   #21
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How to hard wire solar panels into RV electric Service

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockymntnman View Post
Can the inverter be wired into the circuit breaker box in the chassis? Or what kind of fuses do I need to wire in to the system? The inverter has a couple built in fuses, is that all I need? If I only turn the inverter on when I need power, does it still use battery power for itself?

Yes, inverter can be wired into the existing breaker box depending on existing configuration. A transfer switch can be added that handles switching specific circuits to the inverter as desired. Sometimes existing panel can be divided into shore and inverter powered sections. A search here will give insight into those who have done this and specifics of implementation

The inverter should have circuit protection on its DC power input from the battery as well as circuit breaker protection on its AC output. These circuit breakers also allow for isolation during servicing.

Most inverters consume current from the battery supply even when the inverter itself turned off, yes. The circuit protection on the DC input can be used as a total disconnect when desired to have zero draw. Some, typically smaller capacity units, such as the Tripplite 150/375 do not consume any power whatsoever when off.
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Old 12-25-2014, 04:51 AM   #22
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Just a curious bystander here, but... you are going to install 4 solar panels, 6 batteries, an 8000 watt inverter, and tow a van with a 22ft class C?
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